13-Year-Old Boy Opens Bakery and Gives a Cupcake to the Homeless for Every Treat Sold
Ever since he was little, Michael Platt has loved to bake.
The 13-year-old boy, of Bowie, Maryland, has also been passionate about advocacy against childhood hunger and income inequality, according to the Washington Post. Two years ago, he decided to combine his two loves and founded Michaels Desserts, a bakery in which Michael donates a treat to the homeless and hungry for each cake, cookie or cupcake sold.
“I always wanted to have a purpose for what I do,” Michael told the Post. “It’s all about helping people — not just having a purpose for yourself, but thinking about, ‘How does this touch other things?’ ”
He sells about 75 cupcakes a month, offering four for $15, the Post reported. With that, he makes more than 100 treats to give away and drops them off twice a month at locations including transitional housing, domestic violence shelters and McPherson Square in Washington, D.C.
Earlier this month, Michael handed out cupcakes in the square and met people from all walks of life.
“There was a man sitting in the park. He was wearing, like, a suit and tie,” Michael recalled to WJLA. “We gave him a cupcake and he said that he hadn’t eaten in three days. So we learned that hunger doesn’t really look like anything.”
He’s even teamed up with No Kid Hungry, a nonprofit organization working to end child hunger in America, according to the station.
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“I knew that I wanted to make a business, but I knew I didn’t just want to make money — I also wanted to help people at the same time,” Michael told WJLA.
He bakes out of his family’s home and lends his culinary skills to events like birthdays, anniversaries and weddings, according to the Post.
Michael, who is now home-schooled, withdrew from public school after he was diagnosed with epilepsy and began suffering severe seizures in sixth grade, Platt’s mother, Danita Platt, told the Post.
“It was a very, very difficult time,” Danita said of the period after Michael was diagnosed. “He had to stop everything he loved: gymnastics, climbing trees, diving. So that’s when he kind of threw himself into baking.”
Michael has been able to show his creative side through baking and offers a new “chef’s choice” each month in which he carefully creates a themed cupcake, he told the Post.
He calls these his “freedom fighter cupcakes.”
“So I choose a person to base a cupcake off for each month,” Michael said. “And each month I have a flavor that represents them — and I’ll tell their story on my Instagram page.”
The special cupcake for June is a banana pudding cupcake made to honor Maya Angelou, according to the publication. He plans to make edible creations in tribute of Harriet Tubman and Nelson Mandela.
He’s honored Marin Luther King Jr. with a cupcake full of sweet potato pie filling twice, he said.